Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless.

The Vampire Diaries (2009) cast and crew
True Blood (TV Series) cast and crew
The Pacific cast and crew
Band of Brothers cast and crew
Morden (TV Series 2009)cast and crew

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless.

All Harry Potter movies cast and crew
All Twilight movies cast and crew
National Treasure 1 and 2 cast and crew
Malena cast and crew
Sky High cast and crew
All Underworld movies(2003) cast and crew
Leverage (TV Series 2008) cast and crew
Tess (1979)cast and crew
Wonder Woman (TV Series 1975–1979) cast and crew
Charlie's Angels (TV Series) cast and crew
I Heart Huckabees (2004) cast and crew
La cérémonie cast and crew
All Narnia movies cast and crew
Million Dollar Baby cast and crew
Beautiful Mind cast and crew
Gladiator 2000 cast and crew
Kingdom of Heaven cast and crew
All Alien movies cast and crew
En plein coeur (1998) cast and crew
Les hauts murs(2008) cast and crew
My House Is Full of Mirrors (TV 2010) cast and crew

Naomi Watts

Christmas in Finland

In Finland, Christmas is celebrated from 24th to 26th of December. Preparations for the festival begin from approximately a month ago with many Finnish people buying the Christmas tree, decorative items and gifts and goodies for the season. Houses are cleaned and special treats like gingerbread cookies and prune tarts prepared for the oncoming festive season.

The first Sunday in December (also called the First Advent) starts the Finnish Christmas season. Christmas lights begin to appear in the stores along with gifts, goods and goodies for the festival. Children count the days to the festival making their own Christmas calendar with some great pictures related to the Christmas theme or even some chocolate caramel.

In Finland the Christmas tree is set up on Christmas Eve. Fir trees are felled, tied onto sleds, and taken home to be decorated beautifully with candies, paper flags, cotton, tinsel, apples and other fruits. Candles are used for lighting the trees. Many women make a visit to some local sauna to groom themselves for the occassion.

Christmas here is replete with different homegrown customs. In Finnish rural areas, it is a popular tradition for farmers to tie a sheaf of grain, nuts and seeds on a pole and placing it in the garden for the birds to feed on. Only after birds eat their dinner, the farmers partake of their Christmas dinner.

Christmas dinner traditionally begins in Finland with the appearance of the first star in the sky. Dinner is served between 5-7 pm, and consists usually of roasted pig or a roasted ham and vegetables. The main dish is boiled codfish, served white and fluffy, along with allspice, boiled potatoes, and cream sauce. A week ahead of the dinner, the codfish is soaked in a lye solution to soften it. Once the dinner is complete, children head straight to bed while adults chat and drink coffee until about midnight. Other important traditions of the day consist of a visit to the Christmas mass. Many Finnish families also visit cemeteries to remember the dead and have porridge for lunch. Joyful carols and local Christmas songs also form an essential part of Christmas Eve festivities.

On Christmas Day, church services start out early at six in the morning. Most people visit families and friends. Family get-togethers are the high point of this day. Christmas cards are being exchanged and everyone wishes another "Hyvaa Joulua", meaning "Merry Christmas" in Finnish.

Les Cloches de Sainte-Marie (1945)

Leo McCarey nous propose un film particulièrement touchant, plein d'esprit et qui se regarde doncavec un certain plaisir. Au niveau de l'interprétation, nous retrouvons un certain Bing Crosby qui s'avère plutôt bon dans le rôle d'un prêtre qui vient sauver une école paroissale de fermeture. Mais la grosse qualité de cette oeuvre est clairement le prestation d'Ingrid Bergman. En effet, l'actrice suèdoise interpréte de la plus belle des manières une jeune nonne stricte et sans fantaisie, cette prestation vaudra d'ailleurs à l'actrice un Golden Globe et une nomination à l'oscar de la meilleure actrice en 1946. A noter que ce film qui à eu huit nominations aux oscars possède également une jolie photographie en noir et blanc, une mise en scène très réussi et qui comportent quelques séquences vraiment bien sympathique - notamment celle de la leçon de boxe donnée à un enfant par la Soeur Benedict. A découvrir.

Avec Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Henry Travers

source:allocine fr/tomcinema

Cate Blanchett

Oscar winner Cate Blanchett will join Ben Stiller and James Franco in Noah Baumbach's "While We're Young," producer Scott Rudin has confirmed to Thompson on Hollywood.

The relationship dramedy follows a free-spirited twenty-something Brooklyn couple (Franco and a yet-to-be-cast actress) who inspires a documentarian (Stiller) and his wife (Blanchett) to loosen up -- with comedic consequences.

It's good to see Blanchett branching out and tackling lighter fare on the heels of "Robin Hood," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Blanchett will likely work wonders with Baumbach's rich dialogue, and the change should do her good and win the actress some new fans who prefer hip indies to big-budget fare like "The Lord of the Rings."

Baumbach's "Greenberg" star Greta Gerwig was briefly attached to play Franco's wife, but unspecified scheduling issues forced her to exit the project, which Rudin is still finalizing financing and distribution for.

"Young" will be Rudin's third film with Baumbach, as he previously produced "Greenberg" and "Margot at the Wedding."

"While We're Young" is scheduled to start production next summer in New York.

Blanchett next stars alongside Eric Bana and Saoirse Ronan in Joe Wright's teenage assassin tale "Hanna." She's also set to reprise her role as Galadriel in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit." Sneider

We Salute You

Academy Award-winning special effects artist Grant McCune died on Monday from pancreatic cancer at the age of 67.

McCune won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects for his work on George Lucas' 1977 classic "Star Wars." He was also nominated by the Academy in 1980 for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," and served as the chief model maker on the 1978 pilot of "Battlestar Galactica."

McCune got his start in special effects when director Steven Spielberg hired him and Bill Shourt to create a realistic model of the deadly white shark in "Jaws," although neither received credit for their contributions on the picture.

After becoming a partner at Apogee Prods., McCune worked on dozens of memorable movies, such as "Die Hard," "Big" and "Caddyshack."

McCune eventually launched his own company, Grant McCune Design, which made models and miniatures for "Speed," "Batman Forever," "Executive Decision," "Daylight" and "Sphere."

After a nearly decade-long absence from the big screen, McCune resurfaced in 2008 when he re-teamed with Stallone on "Rambo," for which he served as miniature effects supervisor.

McCune is survived by his wife, two children and a sister. Funeral arrangements are still pending.

RIP Sneider

Jeremy Renner

Everyone knows that Jeremy Renner will play Hawkeye in Joss Whedon's "The Avengers," but that's not the first time we'll see the Oscar-nominated "Hurt Locker" star drawing the bow and arrow.

Renner will first appear as Hawkeye in a cameo in the Kenneth Branagh-directed "Thor," TheWrap has learned.

There has been a lot of confusion about whether Hawkeye would be popping up in "Thor," as Empire Online speculated in November 2009 that the character would appear at the end of the film, similar to how Samuel L. Jackson was introduced as Nick Fury at the end of "Iron Man."

“If I was a betting man, I would bet that Hawkeye would probably show up in "Thor," and then be in 'The Avengers,'” Renner told Empire. “But do I know for sure? I can’t say. But I’d love for that to happen. It’d be fun.”

However, just a month later, Renner told Movieline that there was "no truth" to rumors of Hawkeye first appearing in "Thor."

"That was just one of those things that got blown way out of proportion," Renner explained at the time. "The only reason it came out this early, because 'Avengers' is two years away, is that they’re thinking OK, we may throw him in 'Thor,' we may not, as a cameo. You know what I mean? So there’s truth that we talked about it, but there’s no truth to me doing it."

But an individual who has seen an early cut of "Thor" confirmed to TheWrap that Renner's Hawkeye appears in the film, although the person declined to elaborate on the context of the character's appearance or when it will occur. They did, however, confirm Jackson's earlier statements that Nick Fury does not appear in "Thor."

Paramount will release "Thor" on May 6, while Disney will unleash "The Avengers" on May 4, 2012. Sneider

La vie est belle (film, 1946)

Bedford Falls, petite ville de l'État de New York, la veille de Noël. De chaque foyer s'élève une prière. Les paroles murmurées avec ferveur concernent toutes le même homme — George Bailey —, qu'elles proviennent de la bouche de son épouse, de ses enfants, de ses amis et collègues... et de manière générale de tous ceux qui tiennent à lui. Les prières vont être exaucées et Clarence, un ange sans ailes est envoyé au secours de George afin de gagner ses ailes. Avec lui, nous revivons les années écoulées dans la vie de George.

Ayant renoncé à son rêve d'enfant de devenir explorateur, pour reprendre la banque de son père, il a toujours consacré son énergie et son argent à l'amélioration des conditions de vie des habitants de la ville, en luttant contre le désir de puissance d'un homme d'affaires sans scrupules. Il fut également très utile pour son patron, monsieur Gowers, un pharmacien, car il empêcha le renvoi de ce dernier en refusant de livrer à un couple dont le fils était atteint d'une maladie très grave, un cachet empoisonné. Il sauva également son jeune frère Harry de la noyade au cours d'un concours de luge mais perdit l'usage de son oreille gauche. Adulte, George se maria à une certaine Mary, amoureuse de Georges depuis l'enfance, et eut d'elle quatre enfants. Deux de ses amis, Marcel, un policier et Ernie (Ernest en français), un chauffeur de taxi chantèrent même à son mariage. Grâce à lui, son oncle Billy réussit à sauver son entreprise et plusieurs personnes dont son meilleur ami Giuseppe Martini habitèrent dans des jolies maisons louées bon marché. Pourtant un soir de Noël, l'oncle Billy perd une somme d'argent importante et celui-ci, au bord de l'hystérie, menace de se jeter dans la rivière après avoir eu un accident de voiture. Mais il sauve Clarence qui était en train de se noyer. L'instant d'après, celui-ci montre à George comment les citoyens de sa ville auraient évolué sans lui. La ville s'appellerait Pottersville et non Bedford Falls car personne n'aurait tenu tête à Potter, l'homme d'affaires. Il n'y aurait que des bars et des maisons closes. Il n'y aurait jamais eu les maisons de George et monsieur Gowers aurait empoisonné un enfant car personne ne l'en aurait empêché. Il aurait fait vingt ans de prison et serait devenu un alcoolique. Harry se serait noyé et n'aurait pu sauver tous les hommes à qui il a porté secours pendant la guerre. La mère de George serait une veuve acariâtre tenant une pension de famille douteuse, ses amis seraient des mauvais garçons, Mary une bibliothécaire vieille fille et Violette une prostituée (dans la vraie vie de George, c'est une fille un peu simplette mais très gentille). Les enfants de George n'existeraient pas et l'oncle Billy serait devenu fou après la faillite de ses affaires.

Se rendant compte de ce qui aurait pu arriver, George demande à revivre. Il s'aperçoit que tous ses amis sont allés chercher pour lui l'argent qui lui manquait. Lorsque l'histoire se termine, il obtient un livre de Clarence de la pile de billets, disant qu'aucun homme avec des amis ne rate sa vie en le remerciant d'avoir obtenu ses ailes.

Tracey Ullman and Charis Michelsen

Happy Birthday guys. God bless. PS:Also, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Jeff Lynne

Happy Birthday. God bless. Also, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Meredith Vieira, Caity Lotz, Patricia Kalember, Sophie Ward, Fred Ward, Lucy Punch, Tyrese Gibson and Kristin Kreuk

Happy Birthday guys. God bless. PS:Also, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Eliza Dushku, Patti Smith, Matt Lauer, LeBron James, Mr. Joseph Bologna and Maureen Flannigan

Happy Birthday guys. God bless. PS:Also, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Christmas in Sweden

In Sweden, the celebration of Christmas lasts almost two months. The fun begins with Advent. Each Sunday before Christmas a candle is lit on an advent wreath made of a stick that is decorated with white lichen and paper-mache mushrooms or red berries.

December 13 is St Lucia's Day. On this day, the eldest daughter in a family wears a white robe and a head wreath with candles. All dressed up, she serves the family St. Lucia buns (Lussekatter) and coffee in bed. A big event is the Lucia choir show. Young girls portray Lucia and "terns" (tärnor). Boys take part as starboys, tomtenissar (Jultomten's helpers) or ginger cookie characters.

Christmas ornaments might be made of straw. Animals, especially goats, are popular ornaments for the Christmas tree. The Christmas tree is also decorated with lights, glass ornaments, and tinsel.

On Christmas Eve, a large dinner or smorgasbord is served. Desserts include a rice pudding. An almond is hidden in the pudding. The person to find the almond is said to be the next to marry in the next year.

Another important Christmas Eve tradition is somewhat American! At three o'clock in the afternoon all the children start to watch the Disney special "From All Of Us To All Of You." Dinner and presents must sometimes wait until after Kalle Anka (Donald Duck).

Children in Sweden look forward on Christmas Eve to gifts brought by Jultomten (today a cross between a little gnome and the German/British Santa Klaus). They make sure to leave him a bowl of porridge. They also put candles in the windows so he can find his way to the children's homes.

Christmas Day in Sweden is spent in church. December 26 is St. Stephen's Day (Staffen) in honor of the patron saint of animals. An old tradition on this day was to give the farm animals extra food to eat.

The holiday season concludes on January 13 or the 20th day Knut. On this day the Christmas tree is taken down and Christmas is over for another year in Sweden. Though a famous song in Sweden says that "Christmas lasts until Easter - no, not true, we have the fast in between."

Christmas in Iceland

Christmas in Iceland is an interesting experience as this country has many old traditions for celebrating Christmas. Expect no fewer than 13 Icelandic Santa Clauses! In Iceland, they are called jólasveinar ("Yuletide Lads"; singular: jólasveinn). Their parents are Grýla, a mean old woman who drags off naughty children, and Leppalúði, who is not as mean. The origin of these "Santas" is centuries old, and each has its own name, character and role.

Nowadays during Christmas in Iceland, their function is to come to town bearing gifts and candy (and a prank or two). The first jólasveinn arrives 13 days before Christmas and then the others follow, one each day. After Christmas, they leave one by one. The Icelandic Christmas season lasts 26 days.

Thorláksmessa (mass day of St Þorlákur) is celebrated on 23 December. Shops are open until 23:30 and then close for three days during Christmas in Iceland. Many attend midnight mass. The main Christmas celebration takes place on Christmas Eve, including the gift exchange.

A special Icelandic custom for children is to put a shoe in the window from December 12 until Christmas Eve. If they have been good, one of the "Santas" leaves a gift - bad children receive a potato.

On New Year's Eve many people attend community bonfires and exchange visits. At midnight there is a spectacle of fireworks when almost every home in Iceland will light its own fireworks.

Iceland's holiday season ends on January 6, with a special celebration of the Twelfth Night. This is when elves and trolls come out and celebrate with the Icelanders, dancing and singing. On this day, the festivities of New Year's Eve (bonfires and firework show) are repeated in smaller extend all over Iceland.

Hurley and Grant

Elizabeth Hurley has a sympathetic shoulder to cry on in the wake of her separation from businessman Arun Nayar. The model-actress, who tweeted the breakup news last dec. 12, after photos surfaced of her looking cozy with frosted-tipped Australian cricket player Shane Warne, received a visit from ex-boyfriend-turned-best friend Hugh Grant on Wednesday at her London home.

And if anyone can offer Liz consolation, it's probably Hugh. You'll recall that in 1995, eight years into his relationship with Hurley, the romcom-centric actor was very publicly arrested after he sought out the services of working girl Divine Brown. He parted ways with Liz in 2000, but they have remained close, even vacationing together with Nayar.

"Hugh is still my number one," Hurley said earlier this year. "We've been best friends for 24 years and that's not nothing."

Meanwhile, the London Daily Mail says Liz and Arun are planning a "quickie" divorce that will protect her $20 million fortune.

"It will be an amicable settlement with no party giving out large portions of money to anybody," a Nayar source is quoted as saying. "Liz doesn't want Arun's money and neither is Arun interested in her wealth."

So, what caused their three-year union to crash and burn?

A source tells Us that Nayar longed for kids, but Hurley, 45, "didn't want to go through the pain of IVF. Liz doesn't compromise, everything was her way or no way."

Hurley, who is mom to 8-year-old son Damian (father is producer Steve Bing, who initially questioned paternity; Hugh is his godfather), took to Twitter on Tuesday to defend Nayar's role as a parent.

"Painful, sad days," she wrote. "Arun & I separated for private reasons but [for the record] he has been a great father to our son Damian & will always be in his life."

Despite the amicable statement, a spy gripes to Us that Nayar feels Hurley, who claims they called it quits "a few months ago," "intentionally humiliated" him.

"They had been having marriage problems for some time, but Arun wasn't prepared to give up so easily," contends the insider. "Liz, on the other hand, gave up and didn't tell her husband. Instead she went out and found someone else and then broke the news to him. He is gutted."

On Thursday, Hurley vented her frustration with the various rumors swirling around the split, tweeting, "Bored now of silly speculations: no one is divorcing anyone yet, no one is fighting over money & I have no plans to go to Australia. Enough!"

Speaking of going Down Under, Liz might want to wait a while before booking a trip to Warne's homeland.

"It's a rebound," scoffs the Us spy. "They'll be over before you know it." Giantis

We Salute You

Jazz musician Billy Taylor has died of heart failure, aged 89.

The star passed away in New York on Tuesday (28Dec10), according to his daughter Kim Taylor-Thompson.

With a career dating back to the 1940s, the musician founded the Billy Taylor Trio and composed more than 300 songs, including the civil rights anthem I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free.

Taylor played with musical greats including Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald during his time in the spotlight.

He also taught up-and-coming musicians about jazz with seminars at Yale University and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he earned a PhD and taught as a professor.

A spokesperson for the John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., where Taylor was the artistic director for jazz since 1994, has paid tribute to him, saying, "We are grateful for Dr. Taylor's devotion, friendship and his influence on jazz."

He is survived by his daughter and wife Theodora, who adds: "He enjoyed his life. Music was his love."


A bottle of champagne

There are approximately 250 million bubbles in a bottle of champagne.
As part of a three year joint project between Moet & Chandon and Heineken, a camera-based computer-linked "artificial vision" system was used to record the release of bubbles and count them. The project established that there are on average 250 million bubbles in a standard bottle of champagne.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

To All

Thank you for coming here.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless.

By Marta Menegatti

La giovane azzurra del beach volley a fine anno torna con i ricordi alla doppia bella esperienza di fine anno. L'argento a Phuket e il giuramento con la divisa dell'Aeronautica Militare

Ciao a tutti!

Questa volta tocca a me raccontarvi nella maniera più avvincente possibile le ultime belle avventure trascorse dell'ultima parte dell'anno…

Premetto che essere qui a scrivere per me è un’impresa a dir poco ardua perché, come potrete vedere qui di seguito, non sono affatto brava con le parole ma vi assicuro che proverò a fare del mio meglio.

Dunque, da dove incominciare? Nella scorsa puntata la mia compagna Greta vi aveva lasciato nel momento in cui io e Vally (Valeria Rosso) eravamo impegnate nella tappa di Sanya in Cina, una delle tappe, a mio parere, più "impegnative" del circuito. Dovete sapere che in questo posto subentra quel lato primitivo che si nasconde dentro ognuno di noi in termini di comunicazione a gesti, in quanto l’inglese è una lingua ancora sconosciuta (pensavo di essere l'unica e invece...). Ma la cosa più drammatica, per non dire tragica, è il cibo.

Già il fatto di essere italiani non facilita le cose, se poi vi capitasse di vedere zampe di gallina sottovuoto nel reparto di un minimarket vicino a patatine, arachidi e snack vari vi posso garantire che non è affatto uno spettacolo simpatico.

Comunque, tralasciando questo aspetto (perché è meglio tralasciare), è stato un torneo veramente ricco di soddisfazioni in quanto nessuno di noi si sarebbe mai aspettato che saremmo arrivate a giocarci la partita per il quinto posto. Tutto sommato dunque, torneo più che positivo anche perché, grazie all’aiuto di Vale e all’enorme pazienza di Lis (il tecnico Lissandro Carvalho, ndr ), mi hanno convinta a sottopormi ad una seduta di agopuntura. Magari a voi la cosa non fa alcun effetto, ma, per quanto mi riguarda, essere riuscita a mettere da parte la mia paura degli aghi facendomene infilzare ben 7 sulla mia povera e indifesa spalla non è stato per niente facile, insomma un coraggio da leoni!

Detto questo, dopo più di 24 ore di viaggio (voi vi chiederete il perché, e io sto ancora cercando una risposta e nel frattempo lancio una frecciatina a Glauco, il nostro team manager) arriviamo nell’incantevole località di Phuket, in Thailandia per affrontare l’ultimo torneo della stagione. Diciamo che questo posto non ha nulla a che vedere con la Cina; in 2 parole: un paradiso! Spiagge incantevoli, mare stupendo, clima incredibile (anche se uno dei primi giorni di allenamento ho rischiato di perdere la mia compagna per un colpo di sole dovuto ad un caldo inaffrontabile!:-) ) per non parlare dell’hotel… un sogno!

Un ultima cosa da dire è che, come l’anno scorso, abbiamo pensato bene di dilettarci in uno shopping sfrenato nel cosiddetto "fake market" una sorta di enorme mercato proprio di fronte ai campi di gioco in cui si trova di tutto e di più: dalle magliette, alle scarpe, alle borse, agli occhiali (tutto ovviamente "tarocco") e chi più ne ha, più ne metta. Tutti, a mio parere dovrebbero provare almeno una volta nella vita ad addentrarsi in quella jungla ne uscirebbe esausto, anzi, oserei dire, stremato.

Di certo, è necessaria una bella parlantina per contrattare, due forzute spalle per riportare a casa i borsoni strapieni di roba e tanta (ma tanta) pazienza.

A parte questo, che dire, penso sia stato uno dei tornei che mi abbia gratificato di più in assoluto perché risalire interamente un tabellone perdenti non è cosa da poco e arrivare a conquistare un argento ad una tappa del campionato del mondo, lo potrete capire bene, è un’emozione indescrivibile. È stata una settimana davvero intensa dove penso di aver speso tutte le energie che avevo e che mai avrei pensato di avere, d’altronde ogni singola partita era come "vivere o morire" ed è solo grazie alla grande personalità della mia compagna, alla fiducia del mio allenatore e al sostegno di tutti i nostri fantastici supporters italiani e non (un sentito grazie a Rudy, al mitico Pippo, Laura, Giulia e Nico) che siamo riuscite a far emergere tutta la grinta, la determinazione e la cattiveria (sì, perché nel beach serve soprattutto questo) necessarie per arrivare fino in fondo.

Nessun pericolo, ho quasi finito. Ci tenevo a fare una piccola parentesi sul giuramento a cui io e Greta (Cicolari, ndr) abbiamo partecipato il 25 novembre scorso a Vigna di Valle (per chi non lo sapesse, circa un anno fa siamo entrate a far parte del Gruppo Sportivo Aeronautica Militare).

Come ben sapete, è un momento molto importante per un militare in quanto si giura fedeltà alla patria, alla Repubblica e alle sue Istituzioni. Termino col dirvi che, essendo la formula del giuramento molto toccante, ho dovuto trattenere la mia commozione proprio perché non ci si poteva assolutissimamente scomporre o distrarre. Potete ben immaginare che non è cosa da tutti i giorni impugnare un arma certo, a volte farebbe comodo quando qualcuno mi fa arrabbiare!

Concludo nella speranza di non avervi annoiato troppo, un saluto a tutti e alla prossima!

Ciaooooo e Buone feste a tutti.

Daniella Sarahyba

L'âge de raison 2010

by bijan-matin (Turkey)

This is not a typical slow moving French movie, although there is nothing wrong with those when they are good,it is relatively paced and full of comedy overtones and witty dialogs. Sophie is beautiful and charming as ever so I definitely recommend it to her fans. She delivers a solid performance with a nice supporting cast although maybe the characters are a bit clichés...alright, alright very clichés...

However, clichés are clichés for a reason and they convey loud and clear messages as intended to all public. The movie and its story remain quite original and combine wit, imagination and a lot more depth than the characters do. Although it is mostly a comedy it has the right scenes to create a roller-coaster in the emotions and manages to get some tears in the audience's eye in the proper moments.

What I liked most of all in the movie is its ability to push you to rethink your life and the way you live it. It forces you to reconsider if you have been paying the right amount of attention to the deserving people in your life, if you have settled from your ambitions, if you have sold out or stayed true to yourself. It also refrains from making harsh judgments and lets you ponder on your own, does not make the call for you. The world needs all kinds of people to go around...

Overall it is a good movie that manages to entertain and get you thinking about your existence as it intends to do. I recommend this to people who feel they might still be searching for themselves or are having second thoughts about their important decisions.

Scarlett Johansson

Anne Hathaway

In ‘Love and Other Drugs’ Anne Hathaway brilliantly portrays a young woman named Maggie who’s bravely battling early onset Parkinson’s Disease. In the role Hathway superbly contrasts joy and fun with pain and vulnerability. Check out what she had to say about the film below.

What drew you to this role?

Anne Hathaway: I guess I really believed Jamie and Maggie’s love on the page, and I had such a wonderful time working with Jake on Brokeback Mountain. I believed we could get there again, with greater results as we didn’t really love each other that much last time (laughs). And then the more conversations I had with Ed (Director Edward Zwic), it became apparent to me that it was an adventure worth taking.

How did you go about researching the Parkinson’s for the move?

Anne Hathaway: I talked a lot to people about the early onset Parkinson’s, the side effects of drugs, and also the anxiety of what it is like to be sick. I think we made it clear in the film that stage one is very much about good days and bad days. By talking to people everyone asked me the same question which was ‘Has she accepted her diagnoses yet?’ it led me to believe that there is a whole world of anxiety before you even come to that moment. Michael J Fox very eloquently and gracefully described his relationship wit Parkinson’s as having evolved to a place where he sees it as a gift, but it was quite a journey to get to there. I think one of the strengths of the film, one of the things that drew me to my character, was the articulation of that journey and getting to play that.

How difficult was it to leave a character like Maggie behind at the end of the day?

Anne Hathaway: I think I’m still learning a lot about how to do my job on camera and off. This role really confused me in a lot of ways. I didn’t know how not to take her home with me. I think in some ways because she’s such a different character than me, I was afraid to let her go at the end of the day because I thought ‘oh my gosh, what if she’s not there in the morning.’ We were shooting at a bit of a breakneck pace with such intense emotions, and I think that I was afraid of things which normally I can work through, I can talk to people I trust, I can work through it, but I was also playing a character who was trying to avoid feeling fear, and so my comfort with my fear, but her discomfort with hers, her attempt to avoid it, my ability to let her go at the end of the day, created for some very confused tearful nights.

Oddly enough I would have these little panics before we would shoot the close-ups and I would become terrified that I wasn’t being truthful enough and Ed really had to sit there with me and hold my hand and be very patient and talk me through it. I hated that kind of needy actor. I love just showing up and doing my job. But that wasn’t this time, I learned an awful lot about – just like my character does – about what it’s like to need people around you and what it’s like on the days when you can’t help yourself.

Love and Other Drugs hits UK cinemas December 29th.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless.

The English Patient cast and crew
Braveheart cast and crew
Mamma Mia! (2008) cast and crew
Get Smart (2008) cast and crew
Fringe cast and crew
La boum 1 & 2 cast and crew
L'âge de raison cast and crew

Kristen Stewart

Monica Bellucci

Denzel Washington and Ms. Maggie Smith

Happy Birthday guys. PS:Also, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless.

Noomi Rapace, Sienna Miller, Bree Williamson, Özgü Namal, Katarina Ewerlöf, Gayle King, Madison De La Garza and Mr. Stan Lee

Happy Birthday guys. PS:Also, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless.

Natalie Portman by Sara Hammel

Natalie Portman has revealed her excitement over the big news that she is engaged and pregnant.

"I have always kept my private life private but I will say that I am indescribably happy and feel very grateful to have this experience," the Black Swan actress told Entertainment Weekly in a statement Monday.

Portman, 29, revealed exclusively to PEOPLE earlier on Monday that she and choreographer Benjamin Millepied are engaged and expecting their first child in 2011.

Connie Nielsen

Christmas in Scotland

Christmas shopping in Scotland: Apart from the supermarket "Christmas Savings Stamps", which start earlier, this now starts just before Halloween, when the shops start filling up with a variety of gift ideas. The big out of town shopping centres tend to start their decorations earliest, but keen to attract shoppers to town centres, which are losing business to the out of town centres, local councils light up the streets and encourage shops to stay open later in competition. The bigger cities are now attempting a more classy look by putting fairy lights into the trees that are there all year round, while smaller towns tend to get multicoloured light bulbs into a big fir tree in the town centre. These get gradually smashed by young people in the run up to Christmas leaving one or two at the top by December 24th.

The advertising also gets into full swing round about Hallowe'en so that the children have plenty of time to drive their parents mad asking for the latest toys. Also in shopping centres Santa's Grottos appear, where children queue up to go in and ask Santa for what they want at Christmas, and get given a small toy.

Letters to Santa: Children at this time often start to make Christmas lists, which are lists of the presents they want. Some children send this list to 'Santa' in Lapland by one means or another. I was told that you could burn this on the fire and the list would go up the chimney and get to Santa that way. However my parents "living flame" fire was behind glass so that never really worked.

Decorating Houses: The next exciting thing that happens is that people start to decorate their houses. These decorations are getting gradually more outrageous as the years go by with the humble plastic tree and bits of tinsel strung across the ceiling being replaced by light up musical Santas climbing into windows and fake snow being rolled out across roofs. We don't tend to get real snow any more due to global warming (hence going to France). Children can join in the countdown by using advent calendars, which have little doors that you can open for every day in December with a little picture behind, ending on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve: The children are in a frenzy of excitement waiting for their presents. Practice at this point varies; I used to have big presents put under the Christmas tree to find in the morning as well as a stocking for smaller presents at the end of the bed for Santa to come and fill in the night ready for me to find in the morning. Some families used pillow cases instead of stockings, and some don't see the point of stockings at all and just go for the big presents. We eat ordinary food on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas day: Usually families will get together to open their presents and have a big Christmas lunch. Everyone looks hopefully out of the window to see if it will snow, and I remember it did once. Presents are unwrapped carefully so that the wrapping paper can be used again. Often dads and grandpas get socks. Lunch is usually turkey with all the trimmings and one or two glasses of wine or champagne. Pudding is usually a Christmas cake - some people who don't like fruit cake may have a Yule log, which is a chocolate cake from Sweden. Most people have Christmas crackers and eat their dinner wearing a paper crown. Following this the whole family get together in front of the TV and fall asleep in front of either:

1. "The Wizard of Oz" or
2. "The Sound of Music" or
3. "The Queen's Speech" (always at 3pm).

At tea time, our family liked to have a light supper of bread and butter and smoked salmon, and more crackers if there are any left.

Thus ends Christmas and we all wait for a few days until Hogmanay. (Ed. note: Hogmanay is New Year's)

Hogmanay is the time of year when children get to stay up until 12:00 am. It goes like this:

1. Sit up watching 'hoochter choochter' music on the telly and trying not to fall asleep. For many years a comedy show called 'Scotch and Wry' was shown, even for several years after the death of the main character. Now we have pictures of the tourists in the streets of Edinburgh.

2. Just before midnight, go to your neighbour's across the road, where they will be waiting with bowls of mixed nuts and a glass of wine. Some (generally older) people may at this point drink whiskey. Remember to take a lump of stone symbolising a piece of coal for good luck. This is called "First Footing".

3. At "the bells" (on the telly), everyone stands up and stands in a circle with their hands crossed, holding hands with the people on either side of them, and sings 'Auld Lang Syne' while feeling slightly embarrassed.

4. Stay for a bit to make an effort and then go home and climb gratefully into bed.

The younger and more adventurous may go round to more than one person's house and take them all a lump of stone, and will get drunk. If there are a lot of people about in the streets, everyone will wish each other a happy new year and kiss each other on the (usually) cheek. This is what used to happen in Edinburgh but can no longer because the whole town is full of tourists who don't know what to do and the people who live in Edinburgh aren't allowed across town without a ticket.

January the 2nd is also a Scottish holiday. However we have two less public holidays than England throughout the rest of the year to make up for it.

source:Written by a Scot/

Monday, December 27, 2010

Jessica Alba (Definitely Not suitable for kids)(For Mature Audience only)

Jessica Alba

Auld Lang Syne Traditional Scottish, collected and adapted by Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet
for auld lang syne

We twa hae run about the braes
And pou'd the gowans fine
We've wandered mony a weary foot
Sin' auld lang syne

We twa hae sported i' the burn
From morning sun till dine
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne

And ther's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a right good willie-waught
For auld lang syne

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless.

Holly Hunter
Corinne Clery
Gabrielle Anwar
Mia Kirshner
All Transformer movies cast and crew
Marina Baker
Dana Delany
Catherine McCormack
Ms.Brigitte Bardot
Anne Archer
Patti McGuire
Ms.Gina Lollobrigida
Jodie Foster
X-files TV Series cast and crew
The Cosby show cast and crew
The Departed cast and crew
Alba Parietti
Adriana Volpe
Linda Blair
Edwige Fenech
Barbara Bouchet
Isabelle Huppert
Carole Bouquet
Steven Spielberg
Kristen Stewart
Kirsten Dunst
Savoy Brown
Procol Harum
Earth, Wind and Fire
Ms. Julie Andrews
Blood Sweat and Tears
Caterina Murino
Daniella Sarahyba
Ms.Jane Fonda
As Good as It Gets cast and crew
Valérie Kaprisky
Marlee Matlin
Tuesday Weld
Madeleine Stowe
Jill St. John
Kristen Wiig
Candy Loving
Lorraine Bracco
Sigourney Weaver
Helen Hunt
Sybil Danning
Steffi Graf
Julie Gayet
Élodie Navarre
Gisele Bündchen
Katherine Heigl
Rebecca De Mornay
The Doors
Emily Blunt
Susan George
Melissa George
Susan Kiger
Nadine Greenlaw
Jaclyn Smith
Cheryl Ladd
Tanya Roberts
Rod Stewart
Eleonora Albrecht

Same to your family and fans.

Maryam d'Abo

Happy Birthday. God bless. Also, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.

Joan Severance

Last Dec. 23 is your birthday, Happy Birthday. Also, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless

Francesca Piccinini

Aishwarya Rai at 63rd Cannes 2010 Film Festival

Brittny Gastineau

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Danish Christmas traditions

Advent wreath: The Danes’ Christmas begins with the Advent wreath. The wreath has four candles, each of which is lit every one of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Eve the 24th of December. Adventus is Latin and means come and it is of course the count down to what comes at Christmas, namely the birth of Jesus, which in this way is celebrated in virtually all Danish homes.
Traditionally the Advent wreath is made out of fine spruce twigs and cuttings, often decorated with red berries and spruce cones, white candles and red ribbons for attaching the wreath to the ceiling. Every Sunday a new candel is lit together with the one(s) already lit the previous Sunday. This means that all four candles - each one obviously shorter than the other(s) - are burning all together on the forth Advent Sunday.

Nowadays you’ll find many inventive versions of the traditional wreath, using all kinds of material and decorated in more modern ways, including colored candles. That’s just fine but they can never replace the spruce original.
The calendar candle: Another December tradition is the calender candle. This candle is, just like a tape measure, provided with 24 markings, normally decorated with motives of fir and little pixies with red cheeks, wearing red hats and dancing merrily in yellow clogs. In most families the candles are lit every day from December 1st as a soothing factor in a hectic period, quite often at the breakfast table. Frequently it is the childrens’ duty to blow out the candle before it burns down too far into the next date!

Also in the beginning of December the windows are lit up with candles and light chains and decorated with all kinds of red flowers. The obligational out door Christmas tree is lit with hundreds of white lightbulbs. Very often even the odd tree in the garden is lit up with small lightbulbs. People with no garden do a great job of decorating their balcony or just their window frames and sills.

As December wears on all families dress up the interior of their houses with glass globes, festoons, paper hearts and stars, cornets, music boxes and a lot of family artifacts that somehow have survived the passing on from parents to kids for many decades. Small Christmas decorations are produced in the evenings around the dinnertable. The ingredients are cones, moss, lichen, leaves and berries of all sorts and held together by a lump of clay on a plate. As always, there has to be a candle in the middle to make the atmosphere complete.

All nursery schools, elementary schools, colleges, hospitals and institutions contribute to this national effort of making Christmas in Denmark both profound, warm and beautiful for every citizen.

At the Copenhagen town square in front of the city hall the worlds biggest Christmas tree is erected and decorated with thousands of light bulbs each year. In 1999 the tree, which as usual was cut in Gribskov outside Hillerød i Northen Zealand, measured no less than 35 metres and with a perfectly symmetrical shape.
The Christmas brew: The inner spirit is well taken care of by the famous Danish breweries, too. Each year in November Carlsberg and Tuborg release the new Christmas beer. This beer is both darker and stronger than the traditional lager and is presented in a festive manner along the lines of the new French red wine, Beaujolais Nouveau.
Christmas luncheons: The Christmas brew plays a major role in many of the traditional Danish luncheons that every single company with more than one employee carry out every year in December. Most hotels, inns and restaurants offer special Christmas dishes on their menus and every single canteen from Skagen in the far North of Denmark to Gedser in the far South is occupied with this very important question: -What are we going to have for our Christmas luncheon?

The answer is really quite simple: The traditional Danish kitchen offers a wide variety of cold and warm dishes which all belong to this famous ritual, normally offered at a buffet:
Salmon and herring prepared in different ways and with different dressings, shrimps, lobster and crab, filet of fried plaice with tartare sauce, fried sausage (medisterpølse) and meatballs (frikadeller) with red cabbage and beetroots, roast pork and bacon with fried apples, sirloin of pork with soft fried onions, black pudding with sirup, liverpâté with bacon and mushrooms, roasted duck, a variety of cold cuts, chicken- and fruit salad, various kinds of cheese with fruit and ris à l’amande (vanilla rice pudding with almonds and whipped cream) with cherrysauce. All the above is eaten with white and rye bread and butter and to go through it all demands both a strong physique and determination.

To make it all go down well you not only have the beer (or wine - or even sparkling water for the drivers) but also the Christmas snaps, which like the beer is presented every year before Christmas.
Present calendars: All Danish kids get one or more Advent calenders - or Christmas calenders as they are called in Denmark. The two big television channels each year produce a special new Christmas series divided into 24 episodes to keep the children's excitement in a high gear. The more fortunate children also get a gift calender consisting of 24 small presents, one for each day before Christmas, individually bought and wrapped by their parents.
Christmas cards: The world famous Danish Christmas Seals celebrate their 103 anniversary this year. That makes them the worlds oldest of their kind and it is probably only to be expected that the country which originally invented the postal system also created the Christmas seal.

Since its debut in 1904 the seals have been copied in many countries around the world. They are designed each year by specially invited artists. Among the most famous designers is the Danish Queen Margrethe II, who at many occasions has proved to posses extraordinary artistic skills.

The Christmas seals are used on letters and postcards, just like stamps, but they are not obligatory. They are sold only around Christmas time and the revenue is distributed to needy children.

It is not unusual for Danes to write a lot of Christmas cards to friends and family and most of them are provided with the Christmas seals. The cards are never printed in advance in the Hallmark fashion but handwritten like in the good old days. Traditional baking: As Christmas approaches all kinds of preparations accelerate in each and every Danish home. Remarkably, the old Scandinavian tradition has survived more og less untouched even in these modern times. Although, Christmas has been commercialized in Denmark like everywhere else all Danes - even young and hard core computer freaks - give in to their heritage at this particular time of the year. Everybody tries to participate in the preparation for Christmas Eve, however humble the effort.

The last two weeks before Christmas the great baking period begins and naturally the kids play a major role. Every family is busy baking their favourite cakes and cookies using traditional recipes hat have been handed over from generation to generation. Some of the most popular Danish Christmas cookies are: ginger cookies, deep fried crullers, vanilla biscuits or gingerbread shaped as hearts and decorated with ribbons.

While the oven is working overtime everyone is busy making Christmas decorations for the house or the tree and sweetmeats or candies out of marzipan, chocolate fudge, almonds, dates, hazelnuts and crystallized fruits and berries.
The Christmas tree: Traditionally the Danish Christmas tree is the common spruce type, some call it the Norwegian spruce. In the old days, before central heating, this was fine. All homes were cold and moist and therefore perfectly suited to maintain the green needles of the spruce.

Nowadays most people prefer the Normann spruce. It not only has softer needles, it also withstands the normal room temperature of modern homes much better. But beware: A true old fashioned Christmas enthusiast will scorn you for choosing anything but the common spruce. Even if it scatters needles all over your house and looks rather poorly at New Years Eve.

Families fortunate enough to live close to the woods try to pick and cut their own tree. Already when the fall sets in, the days shorten and the gales roam it’s time to choose the most beautiful tree of the forest. The ideal setting for any happy family is a weekend outing in mid December with daddy pulling the kids on the sledge with one hand, carrying the axe in the other, and mummy with the sandwiches and the thermo in the backpack - all on the lookout for that perfect tree. And you have to believe this: They always find it!

But of course, most Danes have to buy their Christmas tree just around the corner. During December you will find people - often boy scouts -selling Christmas trees on the streets all over the country collecting money for a good cause.
Decorating the Christmas tree: The lighting of the Christmas tree is considered as one of the highlights of Christmas Eve. Many Danes insist that you have to use real candles and not electric lights on the Christmas tree. Today, however, a lot of people have treacherously swapped the candles with the easier and much safer electric option. Electric lights don’t drip, they don’t make a mess and they don’t set the house on fire. But, surely, they are not quite able to create that traditional Christmassy atmosphere.

The Christmas tree itself is decorated with a silver or gold star on the top (never an angel), festoons of national flags, cornets with fruit, candies or cookies, small toy music instruments and the entire tree is often given the final touch with scatters of white fairy hair or strips of tin foil, reflecting the light from the glowing candles.

For the people who would like their Christmas tree to look more posh the company Georg Jensen, renowned for its Danish design, produces very elegant and exclusive Christmas decorations every year, appreciated by collectors and connoisseurs all over the world.

Previously it was the father in the family who was in charge of lighting the Christmas tree. After dinner he would go to the adjacent room on his own and light up the candles. Then he would invite the rest of the family to join him and admire the splendour of the tree. Today it is more common for the whole family actively to take part in all the traditional Christmas rituals.

The night before Christmas eve: The 23rd of December, the night before Christmas Eve, has a unique atmosphere, one of a kind. For most people this is the first day of the vacation, and many use the opportunity to see close friends and part of the familiy that they don’t have a chance of meeting for the next few days because of the Christmas obligations. Often they exchange small gifts and the children are served “æbleskiver” (a special kind of doughnuts) with icing sugar, jam or maple sirup while the adults enjoy a cup of hot glögg (mulled wine). On the menu is “risengrød” (rice pudding) with sugar, cinnamon and a lump of butter in the middle. On top of this is served “hvidtøl” (malt beer).
Christmas day and eve: In Denmark Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve the 24th of December.
Everybody is busy buying present and preparing dinner on the day of Christmas Eve and the children are extremely excited waiting with great anticipation for the evening to arrive.

In the old days it was common to give the animals a special treat on Christmas Eve.
It was widely believed that all animals could talk on this special night, and nobody would like the animals to speak ill of you. Today some families continue that tradition. They go for a walk in the garden, in the park or forest and bring along small goodies for the animals on this very special occasion.

A lot of people attend an early Christmas mass in church before the Christmas dinner not necessarily because they are devoted churchgoers, but because they enjoy the tradition of gathering in church and singing Danish Christmas carols as part of the Christmas spirit.

Dinner is served quite early. Most people eat roast duck on Christmas Eve but roast goose or roast pork with crackling rinds is also commonly served. The duck or goose is stuffed with apples and prunes and served with boiled and sweet potatoes, red cabbage and beets and cranberry jam. The dessert consists of ‘ris à l’amande’ (rice pudding with whipped cream, vanilla and almonds) with hot cherry sauce or ‘risengrød’ (hot rice pudding). A peeled almond is hidden in the dessert bowl and the lucky finder of the almond gets a present.

A good claret goes extremely well with this dinner, and maybe an old Port or Madeira with the dessert.

Dancing around the tree: After dinner the tree is lit, at last, and everyone joins hands with one another and dances around the tree singing traditional Danish Christmas hymns and carols.

When the children have had quite enough of the singing (and that doesn’t take very long) it is finally time for the unwrapping of gifts.
Normally, one of the children is chosen to select the wrapped presents under the tree and hand them over one at the time so everyone can watch each individual present being unwrapped.
After the last present, it is time for fresh fruit, cookies, candy and coffee.

On Christmas Day only the children get up early to enjoy their presents from the night before. This day is a very quiet time in most families as the more formal visits with luncheons and other activites normally don't begin until the 26th of December.

Les parapluies de Cherbourg 1964

by Jasper Sharp (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

This must be amongst the most distinctive, idiosyncratic and exquisite films I have seen in a long while. There is nothing particularly new about the plot, which is a straightforward and uncomplicated love story divided into three acts, but the beauty of this film is in the telling of it.

All the dialogue in this film is sung, which at first is a little unsettling, but it actually takes very little time to adjust to. The verse/chorus format of popular music and the musical genre is eschewed for an approach more resembling a modern opera, as the characters croon their lines to each other over a continuous score. This gives the most banal of lines a rhythm and cadence of their own. Because of this I found the French a lot easier to understand than with more naturalistic films, which was fairly handy for me as the print I was watching was with Dutch subtitles! I must confess, I did find that the music (written by Michel Legrand) began to grate towards the end of the 87 minute running time but even so there is still much to admire here. Visually it's stunning, with a bold and vibrant colour palette of almost hallucinogenic intensity and sumptuous costume and set design (that wallpaper!). The opening credit sequence sets the mood perfectly: a birds eye view of the inhabitants of Cherbourg in the rain beneath their umbrellas as they walk across the frame is reduced to a colourful abstraction. Catherine Deneuve is predictably gorgeous and the first act of the young couples courtship is one of the most beautifully pure pieces of cinema I can think of. It reminded me a bit of 'Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris', a film which I saw in television a long time ago and would do absolutely anything to get hold of a copy. 'Les Parapluies de Cherbourg' is a wonderful, sincere and uplifting film that everyone should go and see at least once, and preferably on a big screen. Once seen, never forgotten.

Ivory Coast

By MARCO CHOWN OVED, Associated Press
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – The man who refuses to leave Ivory Coast's presidency faced new threats to his grasp on power after regional leaders threatened to remove him by force if necessary.

Meanwhile, the U.N.'s refugee agency said Saturday that at least 14,000 Ivorians have fled the chaos of their homeland, trekking for days to reach safety in Liberia.

Diplomatic pressure and sanctions have left Laurent Gbagbo increasingly isolated though he has been able to maintain his rule nearly a month after the disputed vote because of the loyalty of security forces and the military.

Even that, though, may disappear if he runs out of money to pay them.

Late Friday, West Africa leaders from the 15-country regional bloc ECOWAS — the Economic Community of West African States — threatened to send military intervention into Ivory Coast if incumbent Gbagbo refuses to step down peacefully.

"In the event that Mr. Gbagbo fails to heed this immutable demand of ECOWAS, the Community would be left with no alternative but to take other measures, including the use of legitimate force, to achieve the goals of the Ivorian people," said a statement from ECOWAS.

James Gbeho, president of ECOWAS said the group of West African leaders was making an "ultimate gesture" to Gbagbo to urge him to make a peaceful exit.

The 15-nation regional bloc of West African states made the decision following a six-hour emergency summit in Abuja, Nigeria, on Ivory Coast as worries mounted that the country that suffered a 2002-2003 civil war could return to conflict.

Gbeho said the bloc would send in a high-level delegation to meet with Gbagbo, and tell him to step down, but did not give details as to when the delegation would go or a deadline for Gbagbo.

The threat of force came on the tail of another serious international reproach, this one from the West African economic and monetary union, which called on the regional central bank to cut off Gbagbo's access to state coffers.

Gbagbo's spokesman Ahoua Don Mello on Saturday denounced the decision by the union to give Ouattara's government signing privileges on state accounts. He called the move "illegal and manifestly beyond their competence."

The meeting of regional finance ministers that issued the freeze "overstepped its stated prerogatives by interfering in the internal affairs of a member state of the union," Mello said on state television Friday evening.

Gbagbo's government has denied rumors that state salaries wouldn't be paid, and in spite of the financial freeze, civil servants received their paychecks the day before Christmas Eve. But senior diplomatic sources, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, say that Gbagbo only has enough reserves to run the state for three months, setting the scene for a drawn-out standoff.

Ivory Coast is the world's biggest cocoa grower, producing 40 percent of the world's supply. While a cocoa embargo might have a more immediate impact on Gbagbo's ability to govern, European and American business interests prevent this from being seriously considered, said African security analyst Peter Pham.

"A cocoa embargo isn't even on the table," said Pham, who is the Senior Vice President of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy in New York.

The threat of military intervention may add enough pressure to bring about a swifter resolution, said Pham, though he questioned whether a force could be brought together quickly enough to have an impact.

"Nigeria — the only real military power in the AU — is unlikely to have the stomach for a drawn-out military escapade on the eve of their own presidential election," he said. Nigerian elections will be held in April next year.

Gbagbo has refused to step down from the presidency despite international calls for his ouster from the U.N., U.S., former colonizer France, the European Union and the African Union. The international community recognizes Alassane Ouattara as the winner, though Gbagbo maintains control of the national military.

In recent days, the United Nations has expressed alarm about the actions of men who are believed to be Gbagbo loyalists. At least 173 deaths have been confirmed in violence over the presidential vote, and the U.N. is warning the number could be greater since it has been unable to investigate all the allegations.

Masked gunmen with rocket launchers have blocked access to what officials believe may be a mass grave site in Ivory Coast, the United Nations said. The world body also reported Thursday that heavily armed forces allied with Gbagbo and joined by masked men, were preventing people from getting to the village of N'Dotre, where the global body said "allegations point to the existence of a mass grave."

The U.N. did not elaborate on the possible victims, though it has expressed concerns about hundreds of arrests, and dozens of cases of torture and disappearance during the political turmoil since the presidential runoff vote was held nearly a month ago.

Even the top U.N. envoy in the country was stopped at gunpoint while trying to look into reports of human rights abuses, the U.N. deputy human rights commissioner in Geneva said Thursday.

On Saturday, the Geneva-based office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees announced that the agency has "registered 14,000 Ivorian refugees in eastern Liberia who fled in the wake of post-electoral instability in their country for nearly a month now."

"With their numbers growing, the humanitarian needs are increasing for the mostly women and children refugees as well as for the villagers hosting them," the agency said in a statement.

"The growing number of new arrivals is impacting communities hosting the refugees. Food supplies are running short despite efforts by the government and humanitarian agencies to bring in more assistance," the UNHCR said.

Meanwhile, Ouattara continued to assert his legitimacy from the Golf Hotel, where he has taken refuge since the election, protected by 800 U.N. peacekeepers.

"After these long years of crisis, the Ivorian people deserved to rejoice in our democratic advancement," Ouattara said. "But former president Laurent Gbagbo has decided to turn a new page of violence and uncertainty, aggravating everyday a little more the suffering of Ivorians," he said in a Christmas Eve address.

Troops loyal to Gbagbo continue to encircle the hotel. While their blockade was officially lifted last week and U.N. supply trucks were authorized to cross the lines, no one else has been allowed access to the compound.

Ouattara is trying to assert control over state television, which had been controlled by Gbagbo until Thursday, when it was pulled from airwaves in 80 percent of the country.

Only people in the main city of Abidjan continued to receive the state channel, which has been exclusively reporting Gbagbo's victory, refusing to mention the results that make Ouattara president, or his international support.

"We don't know who did it," said Ouattara adviser Amadou Coulibaly, "but we're sure glad they did."

Ivory Coast was once an economic hub because of its role as the world's top cocoa producer. The 2002-2003 civil war split the country into a rebel-controlled north and a loyalist south. While the country officially reunited in a 2007 peace deal, Ouattara draws his support from the northern half of the country, where he was born, while Gbagbo's power base is in the south.

Kate Winslet

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless.

Tea Leoni, Jaime Pressly, Priscilla Presley, Isabelle Adjani, Judi Dench, Rhona Mitra, Mimi Rogers, Marguerite Moreau, Andie MacDowell, Brooke Shields,
Willa Ford, Beau Garrett, Nikki Deloach, Claire Forlani, Julia Ormond, Nichole Hiltz, Emily Deschanel, Julia Ann, Jeanne Moreau, Kate Winslet, Amparo Muñoz,
Lisa Harper, Maeva, Deidre Holland, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, Sheena Easton
Carol Burnett, Ali MacGraw, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, All Godfather movies cast and crew, All Star Wars movies cast and crew, 8 Femmes cast and crew, The Secret in Their Eyes cast and crew and, Gena Lee Nolin, Tom Sizemore, Andrew McCarthy, Jeff Fahey, Judd Nelson, Ed Harris, Karen Gillan, Jane Sibbett, Mr. Berry Gordy, Juana Acosta, Paul Shaffer, Laura Antonelli, Randy Newman, Mr. James Karen and Pamela Hayden

Same to your family and fans.

2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards(Winners to be announced on Sunday, January 30, 2011)

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Black Swan (2010)

The Fighter (2010)

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

The King's Speech (2010)

The Social Network (2010)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges for True Grit (2010)

Robert Duvall for Get Low (2009)

Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network (2010)

Colin Firth for The King's Speech (2010)

James Franco for 127 Hours (2010)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right (2010)

Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole (2010)

Jennifer Lawrence for Winter's Bone (2010)

Natalie Portman for Black Swan (2010)

Hilary Swank for Conviction (2010/II)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale for The Fighter (2010)

John Hawkes for Winter's Bone (2010)

Jeremy Renner for The Town (2010)

Mark Ruffalo for The Kids Are All Right (2010)

Geoffrey Rush for The King's Speech (2010)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams for The Fighter (2010)

Helena Bonham Carter for The King's Speech (2010)

Mila Kunis for Black Swan (2010)

Melissa Leo for The Fighter (2010)

Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit (2010)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
"30 Rock" (2006)

"Glee" (2009)

"Hot in Cleveland" (2010)

"Modern Family" (2009)

"The Office" (2005)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
"Boardwalk Empire" (2009)

"The Closer" (2005)

"Dexter" (2006)

"The Good Wife" (2009)

"Mad Men" (2007)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock" (2006)

Ty Burrell for "Modern Family" (2009)

Steve Carell for "The Office" (2005)

Chris Colfer for "Glee" (2009)

Ed O'Neill for "Modern Family" (2009)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Edie Falco for "Nurse Jackie" (2009)

Tina Fey for "30 Rock" (2006)

Jane Lynch for "Glee" (2009)

Sofía Vergara for "Modern Family" (2009)

Betty White for "Hot in Cleveland" (2010)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi for "Boardwalk Empire" (2009)

Bryan Cranston for "Breaking Bad" (2008)

Michael C. Hall for "Dexter" (2006)

Jon Hamm for "Mad Men" (2007)

Hugh Laurie for "House" (2004)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Glenn Close for "Damages" (2007)

Mariska Hargitay for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999)

Julianna Margulies for "The Good Wife" (2009)

Elisabeth Moss for "Mad Men" (2007)

Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer" (2005)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
John Goodman for You Don't Know Jack (2010) (TV)

Al Pacino for You Don't Know Jack (2010) (TV)

Dennis Quaid for The Special Relationship (2010) (TV)

Édgar Ramírez for "Carlos" (2010)

Patrick Stewart for Macbeth (2010) (TV)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Claire Danes for Temple Grandin (2010) (TV)

Catherine O'Hara for Temple Grandin (2010) (TV)

Julia Ormond for Temple Grandin (2010) (TV)

Winona Ryder for When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story (2010) (TV)

Susan Sarandon for You Don't Know Jack (2010) (TV)

Sunset Blvd. (1950) by Wayne Malin

Hack screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden) accidentally falls in with faded screen legend Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson). She lives in a crumbling old mansion with her butler Max (Erich von Stroheim). She refuses to believe that she's no longer remembered and will never make another movie. She gets Gillis to stay with her and rewrite "Salome" which she thinks will be her comeback. Gillis has no other choice and things slowly get out of hand.

A VERY cynical view of Hollywood--especially for 1950. It shows what Hollywood does to people like Norma--it makes them stars, tells them that they're great and dump them coldly when they're no longer needed. It also takes swipes at directors, agents, screenwriters, even entire studios! It has a tight quick script, is appropriately filmed in gloomy black and white and is masterfully directed by Billy Wilder. Everybody thought this was a bad idea when it was being made. It was believed to be too cold and vicious for the public. Also Holden was warned it would ruin his career by playing a younger man kept by an older woman. But it turned out great and is now rightfully considered a classic.

The acting is almost all good. I never thought Nancy Olson was that good. Her character is too pure and sweet to be believable. Everybody else is right on target though. Holden is just great in his role. You see the pity, anger and helplessness on his face when he realizes Norma is falling in love with him--and he's trapped. von Stroheim was equally good as Max who encourages Norma's delusions. Swanson however is just magnificent! She has a very showy role and could have overplayed it--but she doesn't. She's mad for sure--but you only see it peeking through every once in a while. When she loses it completely at the end it's frightening. If she had played it like that all through the movie it never would have worked. How she lost the Oscar that year to Judy Holliday for "Born Yesterday" is beyond me. This is a must see and a true Hollywood classic but VERY cold and cynical. A 10 all the way.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless.

Candice Swanepoel, Bar Rafaeli, Rachel Hunter, Karolina Kurkova, Marion Cotillard, Angie Dickinson, Ian Ogilvy, Lacey Chabert, Debrah Farentino, Eric Stoltz, Kieran Culkin, Macaulay Culkin, Kirsten Prout, Ms. Brigitte Bardot, Carré Otis, Brooke Banner, Ivana Bozilovic, Melissa Claire Egan, Leilani Sarelle, Mira Sorvino, All Rocky movies cast and crew, All James Bond movies cast and crew, Danielle Cormack, Mr. Donald Moffat, Steve Le Marquand, Metallica, Connie Nielsen, Jared Leto, Phil Spector, Ms. Debra Paget, Ms. Ursula Andress, Raquel Welch, All Supermodels, All Victoria Secret models, All Sports Illustrated models, Natalia Vodianova, Ana Beatriz Barros, Laura Prepon, Mischa Barton, Barry Gibb, Isley Brothers, Jean Luc Ponty, Mad About You cast and crew, Knots Landing cast and crew,
Samaire Armstrong, Mr. Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, Ms. Nancy Olson, Maribel Verdú, Amanda Righetti, Jeri Ryan, Anita Blonde, Anita Dark, Linda Evangelista, Niki Taylor,
Erica Durance, Smallville cast and crew, Clovis Cornillac, Virginie Efira, Manu Payet, Annelise Hesme, Laurence Arne, Shirley Bousquet, Sophie Vouzelaud,
L'Amour c'est mieux à deux cast and crew, Dominique Farrugia and Arnaud Lemort

Same to your family and fans.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Manon Flier

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless.

Ian Somerhalder, AnnaSophia Robb, Mr. Maximilian Schell, Azra Akin , Kim Dawson, Kym Stys, Manon Flier, Susan Lucci, Hafsia Herzi, Blake Lively, Ma compagne de nuit cast and crew, Julie Benz, Desperate Housewives cast and crew, Lady Chatterley (2006) cast and crew, Cécile De France, Cate Blanchett, Gossip Girl (TV Series) cast and crew, Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross, Richard Carpenter, Tony Bennett, Eric Clapton,
Elin Nordegren, Lucia Rijker, Priscilla Barnes, Mark Rolston, Chasey Lain, Tom Waits, C. Thomas Howell, 90210 (TV Series 2008) cast and crew, Ms. Ellen Burstyn, Emily Browning, Mr. Eli Wallach, Shiri Appleby, Larry Bird, Rosalind Ayres, Georges Corraface, Daryl Hannah, Julianne Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Brendan Fraser, Amanda Seyfried, Christina Lindberg, America Young, Mr. Patrick Bauchau, Secrets of the Grain cast and crew, Torri Higginson, Ulrich Thomsen, JoBeth Williams, Emma Johnson, Tom Hulce, Mr. Little Richard, Elisha Cuthbert, Billy Idol, Ben Stiller, Kaley Cuoco, Mr. Dick Clark, Tyra Banks, Jay-Z, Patricia Wettig, Marisa Tomei, Ms. Deanna Durbin, Nikki Tyler, Rochelle Swanson, Jeff Bridges, Cyrielle Clair, Edouard Baer, Antoine de Caunes, Meegan Godfrey, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Bob Goen, Mr. Lee Trevino, Carol Alt, Emily Mortimer, Mr. Woody Allen, Bette Midler, Treat Williams, Charlene Tilton and Earvin “Magic” Johnson

Same to your family and fans.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless.

Jennifer Connelly, Francesca Inaudi, Martin Semmelrogge, Maya Mishalska, ER cast and crew,
Claire Bloom, Alexa Davalos, Rossana Podestà, Heather Graham, Heather Locklear, Emmanuelle Béart
Heather Thomas, Oksana Fedorova, Izabella Scorupco, Ms. Sophia Loren, My House Is Full of Mirrors cast and crew,
Jane March, John Rubinstein, Gregg Allman, Kate Voegele, Nancy Meyers, Kim Basinger, Dominic Monaghan, Teri Hatcher, Margaret Anne Florence, Ms. Olivia de Havilland,
Ms. Joan Fontaine and Jacqueline Bisset

Same to your family and fans.

Jacqueline Bisset


Better late than never. God bless both of you, Ms. de Havilland and Jacqueline Bisset.

Thank you Mr. President for giving them that award. God bless you.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jacqueline Bisset, Ms. Olivia de Havilland and Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy

Ms. Olivia de Havilland

Posted last September 10, 2010 by Andrew Jon

OLD HOLLYWOOD Olivia de Havilland Awarded France's Legion of Honour

Yesterday Hollywood legend--and one of my all-time favourites--Olivia de Havilland, 94, was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour at an investiture by French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

"[Y]ou honour France for having chosen us," Sarkozy told de Havilland, who was born in Japan to British parents but has long made Paris her home.

He also acknowledged de Havilland's hand in changing the studio system when in the 1940s she fought against roles that she felt were beneath her talents as an actress.

"You are a rebel because you are the only one who dared file a suit against the studios to defend the liberty of actors," Sarkozy said. "You won. It's exceptional."

British born actress Jacqueline Bisset was also awarded the Legion of Honour at yesterday's ceremony.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless.

Emma Thompson, Charlotte Rampling, Lauren Hutton, Diane Keaton, Joanna Pacula,
Margareta Kozuch, Yelena Isinbayeva, Carolina Kluft, Stephanie Seymour, Marilù Tolo,
Virna Lisi, Susan George, Agostina Belli, Joey Heatherton, Karin Schubert,
Alyssa Love, Luciana Paluzzi and Rebecca Romijn

Same to your family and fans.